Pasar Rawa Bening, A Glance at the Gem Scene
Step into Pasar Rawa Bening, Jatinegara, East Jakarta, and you’ll witness the unwavering allure of batu akik (agate stones). While it might not be as hyped as it was in 2015, the market still thrives, as evident from the bustling activities of gem traders at Jakarta Gems Center.
On a Sunday afternoon (15/10/2023), the lively trade of batu akik and gemstones is very much alive in this vibrant market.
Moreover, numerous batu akik traders at Pasar Rawa Bening can be seen packaging orders for delivery through courier services. Stacks of small boxes adorn the display of Benkgamestore, owned by Chaerullah. This store specializes in amethyst agate stones.
“Currently, visitor conditions are normal. It’s not exactly empty; I’ve sold 12 stones in a day,” says Chaerullah.
A variety of amethyst agate stones are showcased in Chaerullah’s store. The stones, placed on a rotating display, continuously shimmer under the spotlight.
The size of the purple-hued agate stones varies, ranging from small to large. The price is determined by the size, color, cut, and clarity of the stone.
“I sell them from IDR 2.5 million up to the most expensive, which is ready now at IDR 9 million. The price corresponds to the conditions. If it meets the 4C criteria (cut, color, clarity, and carat), it’s expensive,” explains Chaerullah.
The Gem Passion: A Personal Touch
Leaning back in his chair, Chaerullah shares why he chose to venture into the business of amethyst agate stones at Pasar Rawa Bening. He says it all started with personal taste and preference.
Driven by his fondness, this tall man attended basic gemology training in 2017 to understand amethyst agate stones better.
“It was only in 2017 that I got into amethyst agate stones. Why did I choose amethyst? Everyone has different tastes. Luckily, I like amethyst,” says Chaerullah.
His experience in learning about amethyst stones led Chaerullah to be appointed as the Chairman of the Amethyst Agate Indonesia Association (AKAMI) by his fellow agate enthusiasts.
He has also gained a loyal customer base, both in Jakarta and outside the capital, as customers trust the quality of the rings he sells.
Therefore, Chaerullah isn’t concerned when people mention that batu akik is no longer booming like in 2015 or eight years ago.
“The boom was from 2013 to 2015. Logically, if it’s quiet or dead, why would I want to rent a shop here? But I see the prospects are good; besides, it’s my hobby,” says Chaerullah.
Moreover, the presence of online traders on social media platforms like TikTok hasn’t affected sales or the number of visitors to Pasar Rawa Bening. Unlike trading other goods that can evaluated from a distance, the gem business requires a hands-on approach.
“If you come in person, there are many choices. So, TikTok or whatever doesn’t affect us. Sales are stable. There are no issues. In essence, the liveliness here is stable, not overflowing like other markets; it’s stable like Rawa Bening,” concludes Chaerullah.